Big V got a big contract.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the Eagles’ fifth-round pick in 2016, agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract Monday with the Lions, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius XM NFL Channel.

Vaitai has started only four games over the past two years but was the Eagles’ left tackle the last 10 games of 2017 after Jason Peters got hurt and through the postseason, when the Eagles made their run to the Super Bowl championship.

It was considered a foregone conclusion that Vaitai would be leaving the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent, considering they're committed to former first-round picks at both left tackle with Andre Dillard and right tackle with Lane Johnson, and Vaitai's price tag was never going to make sense for them.

It was just a matter of where.

Vaitai earned $2.565 million on his four-year rookie deal with the Eagles, so if he plays this full deal, he’ll make nearly as much per game ($595,238) for the Lions as he made per season as an Eagle ($641,250).

Vaitai overcame a terrible start as a rookie against the Redskins to gradually become a consistent and versatile lineman who could play either tackle spot or guard. 

Vaitai only started one game in 2018 and the last three games of this past season, but because of Peters’ frequent injuries he did play 334 snaps in 2018 and 477 last year.

In Detroit, Vaitai will presumably become the Lions’ right tackle. They’re set at left tackle with Taylor Decker, the 16th pick in the 2016 draft. He’s signed through next year. 


Ricky Wagner, who started most of the season at right tackle for the Lions last year, is currently a free agent.

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